July 31, 2005

Too Much Writing

Well, I think I’ve written probably more than any sane person who isn’t an author should in one day. So I’ll stop now. :-)

Oh! One last thing. My friend Nevada pointed out his blog to me the other day—and I thought I’d link right on over to him. You might just find his theological thoughts of interest.

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The Flying Spaghetti Monster, Part I

I was shown this website by a coworker the other day, and, I have to admit, I really enjoy the satire. (Okay, technically, he just showed me the chart in the middle, which is funny in and of itself.) Not to say that I agree with the author’s conclusions—but he has some significant arguments that really do need to be dealt with. And, I think, he even has some good points, too.

I’m working on my response—I’ll post it here as soon as I’m done with it.

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Halogen Lamp Dimmers

Well, this is a very unusual question for this blog, I suppose. Nonetheless…

I’ve been trying to figure out how to fix this halogen lamp dimmer switch that I have. I burned out one of the transistors on the existing switch, and tried to replace it. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t work, and I have no idea how to even find out what is wrong. I’ve studied some electronics—but I can tell that it’s been too long since my circuits class at Dordt.

Anyhow, here’s the circuit:

Schematic of the Halogen Lamp Dimmer Circuit

If anyone has some suggestions or thoughts, please email me or add a comment. Even some insight as to what all might be going on in the circuit would be great—I was honestly just expecting a rheostat. Thanks much!

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Larger than Life

Life in the status quo is all around. Folks who have set aside passions and dreams, content to make a big to-do over the smallest events of any given day. People who have entirely resigned themselves to whatever life might put in their path, a destiny controlled by a nameless force.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” ~ Philippians 4:12

Yet who am I to strive for something more? Can I not be content right here in the life God has given me, rejoicing in His blessings, praising Him for His provision, the health He has given, and the wonderful wife that I’ve been blessed with? Of course I can—and I think I ought to far more than I do. Is that the end of the question, though?

I’m not always sure. I know that some of the greatest examples of a real, vibrant faith that I know of are those who have been beautifully content right where they were—no matter the situation. They didn’t try change the world; they strove to be faithful in the little things of life right around them, in their families, with their friends, and glorifying their Creator in the everyday-ness of life. It is truly some of the most beautiful obedience at its finest.

You can find plenty of verses in Scripture to encourage you to this, too:

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

It could be easy to end the discussion there. But I don’t think that really is a complete view of Scripture, especially when we look at the lives of those who have gone before. Paul could have been content to sit in the temple, teaching with zeal the traditions of Judiasm. Moses could have sat herding sheep for the rest of his years. David, even after slaying Goliath, could have ran away from Saul and been content in his cave—or even in another country. There is a critical difference, though—God called them to something more. And He worked mightily through them.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This life is not about seeking to have a great impact on this world for God. That’s simply foolishness. In fact, I’ve heard it said that those who seek to have a great impact on this world—even for the best of reasons—are precisely those who probably shouldn’t. (That’s a painful statement for some of us…) This life is, however, all about seeking to obedient in whatever direction God has brought us (which may end up with an impact far greater than we can imagine). It is about hearing someday, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23) I am to be content right here, where I am, striving to be faithful and obedient. If that very obedience ends up being larger than life, that’s His prerogative, not mine. And, as I find that He is leading me (and Rita and I together), we ought to follow that with all we are.

Of course, it is hardly that simple, either. Taking up one’s cross (Luke 14:27) isn’t something that is ever easy or straightfoward. Being complacent (oh—how I wish I knew the difference between complacent and content!) is such a temptation, no matter where one is.

Dear God—lead me in Your paths. Help me be content in You and in Your guiding hand that never fails. May You keep Rita and I far away from complacency—mold us to be sold-out and fully committed to Your call. Help us know that you are always taking care of us. We love you!

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